8 fantastic benefits and properties of black (or venus) rice

8 fantastic benefits and properties of black (or venus) rice

I don’t know if he noticed, but more and more often it happens to see recipes on TV based on black rice .

It is a glutinous rice that is used more and more often, both for its food properties and for its truly unusual color.

Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty rare compared to its more famous relatives, the brown and white rice we’ve talked about in the rice diet.

But by all accounts, black rice is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to properties and health benefits and nutritional qualities.

And I want to talk about it here because rice is certainly a food to use in the diet that I recommend to those who really want to get rid of the extra pounds.

The ancient Chinese tradition holds that black rice  was reserved exclusively for the Emperor and the Royal Family for decades due to its high nutritional profile and its healing capacity.

In those years, finding someone eating black rice without being part of the royal family would have been a criminal offense.

Today, black rice is available to the masses, CNN reports that researchers are trying to encourage its popularity precisely because of its nutritional qualities.

Let’s see what health properties black rice has, then.

Superior for nutrients to white and brown rice

Index Article

Let’s start with this: White rice isn’t all that nutritious and is a simple carbohydrate, which means it can cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly and fall, leaving us tired, irritable and hungry.

Brown rice is a better choice. But can black rice beat it?

Here is what a typical serving (60 grams, raw) of black rice will provide your body:

  • 160 calories
  • 5 g fat – 2% recommended daily value (RDV)
  • 34 g of carbohydrates – 11% RDV
  • 2 g of dietary fiber – 8% RDV
  • 1 g of sugar
  • 5 g of protein
  • No saturated fat
  • No cholesterol

Let’s compare black rice with brown and white rice.

Brown rice has 170 calories, 45g of carbohydrates and 4g of protein, while white rice has 180 calories, 53g of carbohydrates and 3g of protein.

As you can see, black rice contains marginally fewer calories, fewer carbohydrates, and more protein than brown or white rice.

It’s not a huge difference but it does mean that black rice is a better choice in terms of nutritional value.

Rich source of antioxidants

The point where black rice is really superior to wholegrain and white is its antioxidant content.

An analysis of 12 different rice varieties found that the antioxidant content in black rice was about six times that of brown or white rice.

Black rice is almost on the same level as blueberries in this field, that is, it is number one. This is no small feat, as blueberries have been ranked first as antioxidants out of 40 types of fruits and vegetables.

study presented in 2010 to the American Chemical Society reports that one tablespoon of black rice bran (equivalent to 10 tablespoons of cooked black rice) contains the same amount of anthocyanins as one tablespoon of fresh blueberries.

Anthocyanins are a very powerful antioxidant which is responsible for both the color of blueberries and their very high nutritional value.

In addition to being similar in terms of antioxidants, black rice bran (comparable in part to weight loss oat bran ) contains less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E than blueberries.

Eating black rice regularly would certainly be cheaper than eating blueberries in terms of antioxidants.

Fights inflammation

Inflammation is a bodily response against outside bacteria and viruses, but sometimes inflammation of an organ can get out of our control and become chronic.

This type of chronic inflammation is believed by many experts and doctors to be at the heart of many of today’s common diseases, from asthma to arthritis to cancer.

Researchers at Suwon University in South Korea carried out animal tests with both black rice bran and brown rice bran to test their effectiveness against skin inflammation.

While brown rice bran doesn’t suppress inflammation, black rice bran does.

This has led the researchers to suggest that black rice may be a “therapeutic agent for the treatment and prevention of diseases associated with chronic inflammation”.

Another study , published in the Journal of International Immunopharmacology, found that the main constituent of black rice (C3G) is highly effective in suppressing inflammation in the body.

Of course it’s not that eating rice alone will heal you but it will help.

My advice, however, is to insist on black rice in an anti-inflammatory diet in general.

Weight control

8 amazing benefits of black (or venus) rice: weight control

Another great benefit of black rice is to maintain control of your weight level.

I have to admit, when it comes to products that make claims like this, I’m incredibly skeptical. There are too many products on the market now that make the same claims.

But several studies have been done on black rice.

A 2008 study in the Food and Nutrition Department at Hanyang University in Korea divided 40 overweight adult women into two groups for a six-week study.

One group ate meals containing white rice, while the others ate meals with a mix of brown rice and black rice.

Although both groups had significant reductions in weight , BMI and body fat, the brown / black rice group enjoyed greater reductions in all three areas when compared with the white rice group.

Of course, this is just a study.

This makes it difficult to tell if black rice is responsible for the extra weight loss or if it arises only from the high fiber content of brown rice mixed with black rice.

However, this study (and many others) underscore the importance of fiber in maintaining a healthy weight. Because our bodies digest fiber slowly, so high-fiber foods keep us full longer, preventing hunger and cravings.

So choosing black or brown rice is always a better choice than white rice.

Heart health

It goes without saying that maintaining a healthy heart is vital to overall health.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says poor heart function is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, one for every four deaths.

Can black rice play a role in a healthy heart?

Some studies seem to suggest so.

One such study , described in the Journal of Nutrition, found that black rice decreases atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries.

When this plaque builds up, it causes the arteries to harden and become blocked.

It is a major risk factor for both heart attack and stroke.

In one of these studies, male rabbits were injected with high levels of cholesterol to cause this plaque build-up. They were then divided into five groups, four of which were fed high-cholesterol diets, one without rice and the others with various types of rice, including black.

Cholesterol was 50% lower in rabbits fed black rice (or red rice) than in those fed white rice.

The researchers conclude that the antioxidants in black rice may play a role in reducing atherosclerosis.

But that’s not all: there is further evidence that black rice can keep the heart healthy.

2013 study evaluated black rice’s ability to inhibit cholesterol absorption. Upon examining, the researchers found that black rice actually played a role in this thanks to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanins.

Liver health

8 Amazing Benefits of Black (or Venus) Rice: Liver Health

The liver is one of our largest organs, responsible for converting nutrients from our food into materials that our body can use.

It also regulates hormones and plays a vital role in detoxifying our body.

According to some studies, black rice may play a role in liver health.

In 2012, the journal Nutrition & Metabolism published a study that examined the effects of black rice extract on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

This common condition, which affects up to 90 million Americans (even children!), Occurs when fatty deposits form on the liver.

The mice with fatty liver disease were fed either a normal fat diet, a high-fat diet or a high-fat diet supplemented with black rice extract.

After seven weeks, the mice fed the black rice diet were found to have improved blood lipid levels and had significantly lower levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol than the others.

From this work, the researchers were led to believe that black rice may play a role in the prevention of fatty liver disease.

The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences has carried out an independent study on the effects of an anthocyanin-rich extract taken from black rice on rats with chronic liver damage due to alcohol.

The rats were divided into two groups and given alcohol to cause liver damage. One group was also given anthocyanin extract from black rice, along with alcohol.

The scientists found that rats treated with the antioxidant had lower levels of liver damage from alcohol.

Both of these studies point to the beneficial effects of black rice for a healthy liver, most likely due to its high antioxidant content.

Cognitive functions

I’ve always written that some foods benefit cognitive functions.

I haven’t found specific studies on black rice but there are many that link antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, with brain function.

After all, oxidative stress contributes to memory deterioration, so it makes sense for antioxidants to counteract it.

A six-year-old study of over 16,000 patients found that consuming anthocyanin-rich foods can delay mental aging for up to two and a half years.

The results also showed that even higher intakes of anthocyanins and other flavonoids were associated with even slower rates of cognitive decline.

This particular group of antioxidants not only slows the mental aging process, but can also aid learning and memory.

A 2009 study in rats showed that those treated with anthocyanins improved learning and memory functions, compared with those who did not consume anthocyanins.

As I said, these studies don’t specifically link black rice with improved cognitive function, but there are a plethora of studies out there that link black rice’s primary antioxidant with better memory.

Anti-cancer effects

8 fantastic benefits of black (or venus) rice: anti-cancer effects

Ancients like other antioxidants help protect the body from free radical damage, which can lead to cancer.

The journal Chemico-Biological Interactions published a study that examined the ability of anthocyanins in black rice to stop tumor metastasis, hence the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

It was found in this particular study that anthocyanins extracted from black rice showed “marked inhibition” on the spread of some cancer cells.

A more recent study , from 2014, also indicated that anthocyanins in black rice have the potential to stop cancer metastases in breast cancer cells.

Other studies show black rice’s ability to fight breast cancer by causing cancer cells to die.

Obviously this is not a cure.


Black rice certainly appears to have some health benefits due to its antioxidant content.

And therefore it cannot be missing in a diet to lose weight.

The antioxidant value of this rice does not appear to be in question nor its benefits on the healthy heart.

We have yet to understand better how much it helps to lose weight.

That said, I am, however, for a varied diet of healthy foods and black rice is definitely a healthy food.

It also looks more interesting than whole wheat and has a unique nutty flavor that I like.

Have you ever tried black rice or are you interested in trying after reading its health properties?

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours